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San Francisco Attorneys Offer Legal Assistance in Building Families

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With all of the advances made in the field of reproductive technology, a range of new legal issues have emerged. A field of law has developed to take on these concerns. Called Family Building Law or Adoption and Reproductive Technology Law, this new branch of law is constantly evolving.

Before you begin fertility treatments, especially those which use a third party, like egg donors or surrogates, it is a good idea to retain the services of an experienced attorney who specializes in reproductive technology.

San Francisco Law Practices

Retaining the services of a reproductive law attorney can help protect your rights before, during, and after your infertility treatment. Your lawyer can draw up contracts that state your rights and obligations, as well as those of the third-party that is helping you in your family-building process. Besides drawing up contracts, your lawyer can help with issues from insurance claim denials, and embryo disposition.

The following list of attorneys practice reproductive law in the San Francisco area:

  • Marc Gradstein
  • Shannon M. Matteson
  • Diane Michelsen
  • Jed Somit


Surrogacy is considered the most legally-complex of all the assisted reproductive techniques.

The California courts have ruled favorably for surrogacy agreements, so it is a good idea to have your reproductive law attorney draw up a surrogacy agreement before you begin the process. The surrogacy agreement will clearly state the rights of all those involved. Perhaps most importantly, it will clarify that the surrogate does not intend to seek custody of the child.

Your surrogacy agreement should also clarify fees. Your surrogacy agreement should state the base fee, as well as how it will be dispersed. It will also list any additional fees, like those for transportation, invasive procedures, multiple births, or caesarian section.


It is also helpful to retain the services of an adoption attorney if you are considering adoption. Adoption attorneys are important to facilitate both domestic and international adoptions. Your attorney can help explain to you the differences in each state law regarding adoption, and how that affects your specific case.

Adoption attorneys are also important because they draft post-adoption agreements, which clarify which role, if any, the birth parents will play in the child’s life.